The action taken by the Crime Branch of Police Jammu and Kashmir is a welcome step. But this action could have been taken by the crime investigating agency much earlier taking cognizance of sky touching airfare from and to Srinagar, Jammu destinations.
However, as the adage goes that better late than never. The Crime Branch has registered FIR in the matter after receiving a complaint about exorbitant air fare charged by the airlines which ultimately resulted into prima facie findings of a nexus between travel agents and the airline staff members.
When we ask for a cap on airfare from and to Srinagar and Jammu cities, we mean to convey the unique topography and climatic conditions of the region. The general public especially the students, patients and traders are compelled to take the air route particularly during winters when the Srinagar-Jammu National Highway remains closed most of the times.
The government of India must intervene into the matter and issue directions to the ministry of civil aviations to tighten the noose around the airline managements in the country for a concrete action in this regard.
Meanwhile, the crime branch of J&K police must investigate the matter thoroughly and expose the nexus upto the highest level. The bulk sale of air tickets must be curbed at least to fake and unregistered tour operators in Jammu and Kashmir so that the intending passengers do not feel helpless to tackle any kind of eventuality.
The practice of charging exorbitant prices in the event of road closure and cancellation of flights due to inclement weather as sheer exploitation of consumers which tantamounts to a violation of relevant laws meant for protection of the consumers.
The government of India needs to take a serious note of this malpractice which has resulted into huge losses to the general public and has created lot of disenchantment among the intending passengers of Jammu and Kashmir.